March 1, 2024

HPAS/ N.T. Allied Mains 2022-23 Answer Writing Challenge: Model Answer

Question: Discuss the role of Public Accounts Committee in establishing accountability of the government to the people.. (8 Marks, 120 Words)

Answer: 

India being a parliamentary democracy establishes accountability of the government to the people through parliamentary supervision and control. Public Accounts Committee (PAC) aids the parliament in financial scrutiny of the government.

Public Accounts Committee help in establishing accountability of the government to the people:

  • Its job is to keep a vigil on the spending and performance of the government, to bring to light inefficiencies, wasteful expenditure, and indiscretion in the implementation of policies approved by parliament.
  • To make recommendations to streamline the administration for efficient, speedy and economical implementation of policy.
  • The function of the committee is to examine the audit reports of Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG), annually. It further establishes the accountability of the government by examining the budgetary appropriations and accounts of the government and Reports of Comptroller and Auditor General (under article 151) on the execution of the projects and programmes by the various ministries.
  • Examining the demand for excess grants before they are presented to the Parliament for regularisation.

Some issues and challenges:

PAC in India is not able to enforce the accountability of the government to the people in true sense because:

  • Even if it brings out the irregularities in the public expenditure there are no mechanisms to enforce the corrective measures.
  • It examines the expenditure which has already been done by the government.
  • Its recommendations are only advisory in nature and are not binding on the ministry of the day.
  • PAC has got no mandate to examine the policy in broader sense.

However, PAC at times, through its criticism of the inefficient public expenditure of the government, creates a strong public opinion against the government. The incumbent government to remain in power tries to rectify the inefficiency in its public expenditure and policy making. Thus the committee helps in enforcing accountability of the executive to the people.

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